The Rigger (PDF)

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W ri t t e n


S eve r n

H e n r y

B r ow n

N a t h a n
C a r l
Ph o t o g r a p hy
D e s i g n e d


Q u a rt e r

2 0 1 4


A n d e r son

H a a se

S m it h
b y To h n
N a t h a n

Ke a gl e
H a a se

Spring 2014
The spring racing season of 2014
proved to not only be long and demanding for the Vikings, but also highly
eventful. The season included a number of local conference regattas as well
as several national races. To Western’s
credit, the program was able to display
an unprecedented depth of field with
three 8’s and one 4.
The team kicked off the season with
our newly traditional Samish Sprints
hosted on Lake Samish by Western
Women’s Rowing. The event consisted
of a series of one kilometer sprints. Given how early they occur in the racing
season, the Samish Sprints serve as a
useful competitive experience for both
returning and novice rowers alike.
The Samish Sprints were quickly followed by a duel race between the Vikings and the University of the Frasier
Valley. WWU hosted the Canadian
team on their home course at Lake
After the excitement of two early regattas was over, the team had to buckle down for an intense week of Spring
Break training. The Viking rowers stay
in Bellingham for the duration of Western’s Spring Break in order to take advantage of the time away from school
and attend the three+ hour practices
that occur twice a day.
On March 29th, the Saturday following break, the team made the trek
down to Tacoma to participate in the
Cascade Sprints at American Lake. Despite the widespread excitement for
another opportunity to race, the event
was unfortunately cancelled after the

preliminary heat racing. Due to cold
winds and intense rain, several other
attending teams rowed through some
of the cruelest conditions of their rowing careers. Thankful the Viking’s have
the cold Canadian breezes to prepare
them for such events, and the team
wasn’t adversely affected from the unrelenting weather.
The weekend of April 5th, the Vikings competed in the Husky Open,
a two kilometer sprint through the
Montlake Cut, which offers spectators
a commanding view of the entire race.
The event offered the team a unique
opportunity to compete against the
University of Washington, as well as
other nationally ranked crews. This afforded all the attending Western boats
a chance to step up to challenging
competition and get a taste of what it
takes to race at a national level.
The following weekend the Western
men drove south to race at the Covered Bridge Regatta in Eugene, Oregon. Covered Bridge is a regatta that
attracts crews from around the West
Coast, and is thus a tangible way for the
Vikings to measure themselves against
many of their major competitors later
in the season. The entire team performed well, winning the overall team
point’s award for the regatta as a result.
The Varsity 8+ won a first place victory
in their division, with a time of 6:28.2.
The Varsity 4 followed with another first
place victory with a time a 7:05.9. The
Junior Varsity 4 also performed well
with a fourth place finish and a time of
7:47.6. The novice team also stepped
up to the plate with the Novice 8A and
4A sweeping first place in their races
with times of 7:22 and 7:50, respectively. The Second Novice 8 came in
second with a time of 7:36.9 and the

Second Novice 4 finished fourth with a
time of 8:21.9. Overall, Covered Bridge
was a success as it proves the first opportunity for the Vikings to display their
impressive power and skill.
The team then subsequently raced
at the Western Intercollegiate Rowing
Association’s championship regatta in
Sacramento, California. WIRA’s serves
as a West coast championship event,
and as such, only the very best have a
chance to win. WWU Men’ Crew sent
their V8 and N4 to represent the entire
program at this prestigious regatta.
The Varsity boat took seventh overall,
winning the Petite Final with a time
of 6:16.4. The Novice crew won their
preliminary heat and quickly took first
place in the final heat as well to establish themselves as the 2014 Champions
with a final time of 7:12.1.
On May 3rd was the Northwest Collegiate Rowing Conference regatta.
NCRC’s is Western Men’s Crew’s conference championship regatta and performing well here is one of the main
focuses of the entire season. The V8
earned second overall with a time of
6:15.7. The V4 and the JV4 took first
and second, with times of 7:15 and 7:38.
The Third Varsity 4 also competed well
with a time of 8:09 and a fourth place
finish. The Novice team competed exclusively in the fours due to the lack of a
Novice 8 event, but still performed well
nevertheless. The N4 won their division
with a time of 7:22, and the second N4
followed in sixth with a time of 8:28.
The Lightweight 4 also competed and
earned themselves a third place finish
with a time of 8:43. With a standout
performance from all Western boats,
the team took second overall in the
team points category, right behind the
University of Puget Sound.

Novi ce
The spring racing season concluded with the varsity boats traveling to
the larger and more competitive National Championship regattas around
the country. The Varsity 4 travelled to
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to compete at Dad Vail Regatta. The team
took first place in their preliminary heat
and actually put down the fastest time
on the course that day. They promptly
followed up with an easy first place victory in their Semi-Final heat, propelling
them on to the championship heat. Due

Va r i s t y


ta k i n g


ta k i n g

to severe thunderstorms and wind, the
championship heat was delayed, but
luckily, the Vikings were still given an
opportunity to race again several hours
later. The men rowed hard and earned
themselves a third place medal out of
more than forty boats from all over the
country. This is the greatest success the
program has seen at Dad Vail’s. Two
weeks later, the Varsity 8 attended the
American Collegiate Rowing Association’s championship regatta in Gainesville, Georgia. This, in and of itself, was

th i r d

a t

D a d Va i l

f irst

a t W I R A’s

unprecedented for the program, as this
was the first time in Western’s history
that the men had sent an 8 to a national
regatta. Moving up to the more competitivene racing an 8 event provides
is a huge step forward for the Vikings
as they begin to make their presence
known on a national scene. Racing in
a total of three two-kilometer sprints
in oppressive heat, the boat took sixth
place in the C final with a time of 6:09
and provided the team with a respectable finish to a long season.


Pr ac t i c e

o n

Head of the

La ke W h a t c om

During the weekend of October
18th, WWU Men’s Crew competed at
the Head of the Charles for the first
time in the entirety of the program’s
history. The Head of the Charles is
a grueling 4800 meter race rowing
upstream on the Charles River in the
vicinity of the downtown Boston area.
The racecourse itself consists of five
sharp turns requiring both a confident
and experienced crew and coxswain.

Comments From the Captain
The Viking Men’s Crew is proud
to count so many as supporters of the
team. Striving to maintain the standard
set by crews past, the team is looking
ahead to a sprint season of increased
competition, a reshaped conference,
and the continued success of the largest team in recent years. Thank you
to all that have worked to bolster the
team and get us to where we are now!
The 2014 fall season was seen off
to an unusually busy start for the novice squad at Western this year. With
showings at Head of the Lake and
against WSU and Gonzaga in Pullman,
the squad has had a chance to square
off against conference contenders
and regional rivals alike. With over
thirty novice rowers coming out of one
of the more intense fall seasons, the
Vikings are looking ahead to repeat
victories in the novice class boats at
Covered Bridge regatta, NCRC and
WIRA, as well as expanded showings
at all in-conference races and championships. Teams that move boats effectively have a foundation built on trust
in their teammates. At every event this
fall the novice squad has shown each
other, the coaches, and the returning
rowers that they are going to be putting in the work to earn that trust, with
impressive efforts being presented on
the ergs, on the weights, and on the
Western Men’s Crew is constantly
looking to improve and take on new
challenges. Competing in larger regional and national levels, the team
has been sending increasing numbers
of boats to regattas such as Head of

the Charles, the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association championship regatta, Dad Vail, and the American Collegiate Rowing Association
national championship. In the process
of assuming the responsibility to meet
this higher level of competition, the
team has also had to assume a much
larger financial burden.
Creating a national name and a
Wnational presence requires tremendous work from the athletes. Already
Viking Crew has put up results that
show that the team is firmly committed
to this goal, with a 3rd place finish at
Dad Vail in the 4+, a 15th place finish
at Head of the Charles, a 1st place win
for the Novice 4+ at Western Intercollegiate Championship and an 8+ sent
to Lake Lanier to compete at the American Collegiate Rowing Association.
With these successes in the last year
alone, the Vikings look ahead to another productive season. The financial
support provided by alumni, family and
friends of the Viking Crew are crucially
essential for the teams continued success.
There are many tax deductible ways
to assist the team, including general donations, race specific donations,
sponsor-a-rower donations, and equipment donations. If you would be interested in providing financial support
for the team or would like to look into
these options more, please feel free
to visit our webpage in order to go
through the foundation donation page
or to get in contact with team leadership at

Inside the atmosphere of competitive athletics, when one encounters the
world of the collegiate rower, insight
into the most inspiring, passionate, and
overlooked potential shines through
the darkness of night that they row in
to and out of. In the humble habitat of
Bellingham, Washington, a small club
sport persists through never-ending
pain in order to fight year after year for
a place on a national podium alongside
other unprecedented competitors.
While the rest of Whatcom County
rests in their beds, Western Washington University Men’s Crew fights for
improvement this fall to maintain the
reputation of success that has gained
momentum over the past several years.
As the roster stands larger than it has
in Western history, all eyes seem locked
on spring season and everything that
must be achieved this winter in order
to make this a more outstanding year
than ever.
Much publicity has drawn attention
to WWU Men’s Crew as Western conveniently chose Daniel James Brown’s
The Boys in the Boat as the Western
Reads 2014 book of the year for incoming freshman. With an ever-growing audience lining up at the 1,500
meter-bleachers, something seems
to be amidst more than mere coincidence. Taking into consideration the
club’s accomplishments these past few
years (having won the Team Title at the
Northwest Collegiate Rowing Conference twice – an accomplishment that
hadn’t been won in the previous six
years, as well as placing third at Dad
Vail), it isn’t an outlandish assumption
that Western is on it’s way to having the
fastest season ever before.

Due to the nature of head racing,
teams are started every 10-15 seconds
with the goal of catching the boat in
front of you while simultaneously fending off the boat behind you, all while
ultimately finishing with the fastest time
possible. Despite the team’s first appearance at the Charles, the Vikings finished 15th out of forty-four other shells
in the race in an impressive time of
17:19.71. This competitive finish guarantees Western a returning spot for
next year and a chance to make their
attendance at the Head of the Charles
an annual tradition for the program.

For the fight to be the fastest
school on the water, the doors to
the Lakewood boathouse on Lake
Whatcom opened earlier this year
than in past seasons so that the
commencement of crew’s two most
critical and complimentary characteristics – camaraderie and inter-squad competition – grow ever
stronger with every extra stroke.
Much of the motivation for this fall
was a response to two additional
races being added to the team’s
agenda that took place in Portland;
the Portland loop and the Portland
Fall Classic which were both 5K races on the Willamette River.
Through the choppiest terrain,
the loop was called off halfway
though the JV8 event because of
extreme winds. Though the rows
may not have been ideal, the experience of splashing around in
industrial Oregon was one to remember, and the plus of Western
placing the fastest time in the 3V8
event that morning was an impressive testament to Western Crew’s
strength across the board of all
their boats.
As winds settled the following
morning, the Fall Classic was underway as oars of orange and black,
green and yellow fluttered to the
5K starting line. Crews rowed in the
direction of downtown and under
five bridges of echoing construction and excited spectators. After
a powerful performance, Western
exited the stage exhausted and
able to return back to Bellingham
confident in the extremely strong
display of drive they had made. The
V8 took second in their event and
overall everyone seemed honored
and enthralled for having competed in two regattas that Western has
previously been absent from.

JV8 at Portland
Fall Classic

Viking’s Participate
in Head of the Lake

WWU goes
to WSU

The following weekend attention turned to Seattle as over
In the final week of fall
2,200 participants competed in the 33rd annual Head of the
before a two-month
Lake regatta at the University of Washington. With a trailer
break between the winfull of grey, black and blue boats, Western arrived excited
ter season, Western conto offer up incentive for support in the name of WWU Crew
cluded their quarter on the
and the reputation of their rigor. Strength was undoubtedly
water with a traditional trip to
tested as oarsmen from all over the country convoyed
Pullman to race against WSU and
across Lake Union, through the infamous Montlake Cut,
Gonzaga (a first-time fall competiand out onto Lake Washington. Despite the uppertor) in the Head of the Snake Regatdivision competition of the home-field Huskies,
ta, or what was formerly referred to
Western’s results were notably respectable;
as the WWU – WSU Dare Duel. Inside
taking fifth in the men’s collegiate open 8+,
the eastern Washington river- rock canjust nine seconds off of Gonzaga in third.
yons, the crews powered through a choppy
As the Viking’s vacated the crew-cluttailwind in this cold and friendly 5K. Though
tered parking lot, their impression
keeping up with the Cougars is never an easy
on one of the west coast’s largest
feat, our boys in blue stood their ground as the
regattas can easily be claimed
JV8 pulled out an impressive and persistently powas more than substantial by
erful piece, falling behind WSU by only three seconds,
any club-sport stadards.
the closest margin of the day.

J V4

a t

H ead

o f

t he

L ake

As the novice stow away the experiences of
their first crew race inside the trophy-chambers of memory, more than just experience was
acquired in our club’s commute to our state’s
southeast edge. Speed and technique come
from events like these wherein the talent of
other teams inspires improvements between
each other, but perhaps more importantly is
the camaraderie across and inside these
clubs that provides these new rowers
with reasons to return for future expansion of our club and the evolution of spectator’s expectations
on club sports that we try
tirelessly to exceed.

While temperatures
begin to drop and a
few weeks of rest are
warranted, that doesn’t
imply that improvement is
postponed during the offseason. With winter around
the corner, the Vikings stay
active on the ergs and in the weight
room where victory is a communal
mentality among the crew so that once
spring approaches, the fullest potential
will be at the tap. Hopes are high among all
members of WWU men’s crew, and the audience’s anticipation for what’s yet to come is minimal in comparison to the team’s own eagerness
and excitement for the intensity that they exhibited
this fall to transfer over and be built off of over the
next few months as we approach the sprints of spring.

Meet The Team
Patrick Abercrombie
Diego Acevedo
Severn Anderson
Alex Balansay
Zackary Balonick
Ian Boals
Henry Brown
Beau Byron
Dario Castellon
Robert Cohen
Megan Deshaye
Stuart Doty
Carlos Enciso
Marielle Face
Drew Falabella
Max Griffith
Nathan Haase
David Henry


M en ’s

at WS U

C rew

Brayden Jacobson
Mac Jaffe
Nicholas Jensen
Allison Joy
Tohn Keagle
Nicholas Kelly
Brandon Khademi
Nathan Lund
Aaron Lutz
Alex McCoy
Corban McKay
Cameron Moser
Gabriel Moss
Caleb Neufeld
Charlotte Nieman
Elliot O’Neill
Michael Ottele
Jeff Pratt
Maclain Ramsey
Olivia Robb-Linse
Shane Sanders

Contact The Crew
Carl Smith
Micah Spady
Chris Swanson
Mitchell Tokuoka
Jackson Turvey
Roderick van der Linden
Nick Vitalis
Ben Waples
Paul Weidner
Nick Whitcomb
Grant Williams
Jackson Wood
Evan Zofkie
Jack Marolich - Head Coach
Joe Gregersen, Zak Balonick,
Matt Reider - Novice Coaches
Sean O’Meara - Assistant Coach
Strength Coach - Will Ruth

Viking Crew is committed to being
an integral part of the Western Washington community. Last fall alone, the
Western Men’s Crew clocked over 350
volunteer hours. Giving back is a tradition that the team hopes to continue to
an even greater extent this year. If you
know of any opportunities for volunteering within the Western community,
please get in touch with the team at
To keep updated on events and other
opportunities to stay involved, visit our
webpage at

You can also join our Booster Club. The
Viking Booster’s provide support for the
team during the season for a variety of
means. It also serves a connection for
parents, family and friends of the Men’s
to get in touch and stay up to date on
results and information during the season. To learn more, contact

Wonder where your donations may go?
Check out these exciting club updates!
The team is looking to purchase a new
8 currently being used by the Canadian
National Team in Sacramento, as well
as other materials for the upcoming
season. To check into the team’s specific fundraising goals, check into our
“Donate” tab on

Keep up with our proud WWU Men’s
Crew Alumni on their Facebok page of
the same name.

We look forward to hearing any and
all comments, questions or concerns
about how WWU men’s crew can stay
active in our supporter’s lives. Thank
you so much for following our progress
and know that we are surely excited to
exhibit all of our hard work after this
cold winter to come.

We’re also on Twitter! @wwumenscrew
To donate to the club or an individual
athlete, visit

In Honor of our Alumni!
Western Men’s Crew is proud of the
alumni that have made the team what
it is today. The Viking’s tradition of excellence is grounded in the work of
crews that have launched from Western
boathouses for more than four decades
now. We would like to take a moment
to pay tribute to some of the rowers
and crews that have been a part of
crews in the past and that remain active
supporters of the current team.

Pictured are the members of the WWU
1971-1972 Varsity 8 at the Pacific Northwest Collegiate Championship in
Seward Park, Seattle. They are being
presented the LaFramboise Cup by Ms
LaFramboise herself following their victory at what would be considered the
Pacific Northwest small college championship. Pictured from left are Steve
Hunt, Greg Munro, Rick Maynard, Steve
Kirsop, Brandon Keyes, Don Buthorn,
John Sting, and Darrell Vreugdenhill.

The team will be selling WWU crew
merchandise for family, friends and
alumni online! To access the order
form, visit and go to the
“Support” tab and follow the “Clothing order” link.
This year we will be selling:
Baseball T’s
Long sleeves
Fleece vests
Fleece jackets
Softshell jackets
Tablet and laptop cases
Stadium blankets

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